I was somewhat amazed when I heard the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) of a great country such as Canada point to himself and say that the result of the election "was what the people thought of me, and what the people thought of you"- pointing his finger to the leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett). Have we ever known such egotism in our lives, the egotism of a man drunk with power? Even if his observation were true, since when has popularity been the measure of true worth? What was the popular cry against the greatest man who ever lived? Away with such a fellow; it is not meet that He should live; crucify Him, crucify Him! Through all the ages, at different times democracy has not ceased crucifying worthy men.
I do not wish to make any observations concerning the leader of the opposition or the Prime Minister of Canada, but I should like to be permitted to read an account which appeared in the Calgary Herald immediately after the election. We find the following:
Mr. King declared: "The result is a victory for democracy. It constitutes a great deliverance, a deliverance of the people from one man
. The Address-Mr. Mclvor
government, from mistaken policies, and from autocratic leadership. It is a triumph for broad principles and policies, as against promises and pledges recklessly and extravagantly made for the purpose of winning votes."
Is anything further needed to show the spirit of the man? Had it been true it should not have been said. I say here and now that we never had a one man government in Canada and that we never had autocratic leadership. But even if it were true, what do hon. members think of a man who gives his opponent a kick in the head when he is down? Let me read further from the Calgary Herald.
Place alongside this rather churlish pronouncement the proclamation issued by Mr. Bennett: "The electors of Canada have decided they desire a change of government. Although from a large number of constituencies members have returned by a minority vote, the result is decisive. The Liberals have been entrusted wtih the responsibility of governing Canada. I wish them well. Although the electors have expressed their dissatisfaction with the services I have been able to render to Canada, I still regard it as a high privilege to have given my best to the dominion during the past five years. I sincerely hope that Mr. King may derive as much satisfaction from serving the country as I have done."
Comparing those statements we find that one is that of an unsportsmanlike politician, and the other is that of a good sportsman and a statesman. With your permission, sir, I shall read further from the comments in the Calgary Herald:
On the one hand we have an ill-tempered victor gloating over his opponent, and on the other the generous-minded, sportsmanlike statesman, cheerfully recognizing the will of the people, and wishing his victorious opponent success in the task which he is about to take upon himself. There is enough common sense and love of fair play in the Canadian people to register and remember the difference between the two men. Mr. King emerged from the test of victory in a discreditable manner. Mr. Bennett accepted overwhelming defeat at the hands of a forgetful people in a manly fashion that will stand to his credit for all time.
That expresses better than I could the feelings of the Canadian people.
Upon this occasion I shall not enter into any lengthy discussion of the speech from the throne. When the measures forecast in it are presented to the house for consideration we shall have an opportunity to discuss them. I should like again however to call to the attention of the house the statement made by the hon. member for East Kootenay, namely, that we are the House of Commons and that the Liberal party has been entrusted with administering the affairs of the dominion.
I, too, wish them well, and if there is any way in which I can assist them I shall be only too pleased to do so. I care not whether it be a Liberal, a Conservative or some other kind of government; I know that the united effort and all the intelligence and brain power possessed by every member in this chamber will be required to bring us out of our difficulties. We have an unemployment problem to solve and a railway problem hanging heavily over our heads. There is another problem in the western provinces; they find themselves in bankruptcy and come here from time to time asking that their bills be paid. How long can this continue? If the western provinces have been unfortunate; if the grasshoppers have eaten the crops; if the drought has burned them out, or if they have been blasted by rust and frost, I would say that we might come to their assistance. But if they, insist upon electing governments which squander their resources, which will guarantee bonds of railways and introduce social legislation involving expenditures they cannot afford, they cannot expect to come to Ottawa with their hats in their hands, asking for help.
Since this government has taken office two treaties have been arranged, one with the United States and the other with Japan. I do not wish to discuss them at length this evening, but I must say that so far as the United States treaty is concerned I am afraid that, like the small boy, we have paid too much for our whistle. While some advantages may come to the lumberman and the stock men, such advantages will be counteracted by the disadvantages which will be suffered by other industries. If Japan is allowed freedom to ship to this country goods manufactured by cheap labour in a country where the standard of living is very low, our industries will be crippled.
I believe in this parliament we should throw aside to a great extent our partyism and attempt to grapple with the great problems confronting this dominion to-day.
Topic: GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic: CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY